By Doha Madani | NBC News
Ohio authorities arrested a family on Wednesday accused of the execution-style murder of eight people on a pot farm in 2016.
George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner were arrested on Wednesday by the Pike County Sheriff’s Office on accusations they planned and carried out the murders of the Rhoden family in April of 2016. The Rhoden family was found massacred on their family farm, where authorities found evidence of marijuana “grow operations.”
The Wagner family lived in Peebles, Ohio, at the time of the killings but later moved to Alaska.
The victims were identified as Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden, Sr., 40; Christopher Rhoden, Jr., 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44. A 4-day-old, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old survived.
Jake Wagner, 26, was a long-time former boyfriend of victim Hanna Rhoden and shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre.
The Rhodens were found dead in four separate homes on the farm. Autopsies from the Pike County Medical Examiner showed that all eight victims died of gunshots wounds and evidence of a struggle. Some of the victims had shown soft tissue bruising, indicating that they fought their killer or killers, according to the medical examiner’s report.
While searching the crime scenes, officials found that one of the grow operations was comprised of more than 100 marijuana plants.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at the time the said the murders were a “pre-planned execution.” Authorities have yet to give a suspected motive for the killings.
Investigators scrambling to determine who targeted the Rhoden family and why had conducted over 130 interviews and processed over 100 pieces of evidence and 550 tips, while getting assistance from more than 20 law enforcement agencies.